MTB Marathon Plan

Hi, I’m considering entering an 86km MTB with 4500m of climbing, on 12th June 2021. Prior to that there is a 60km version with 1600m of climbing. I did the latter in February this year in 3:40 , but stopped training just after during Covid lockdown until July. I’m now back training and am on the same Training Peaks fitness curve path I wason a year ago, leading to the 60km race.

I’ve reverted to being a bit of a spinner and struggle on low rep climbs, so i know that the 86 is going to be a real challenge for me with that amount of climbing and that I need to do something more that what got me round the 60km.

Is the 32 week plan going to get me there, or would I need to put some other combination together?

[I’m 55 and have just started some weight training for the first time in a decade. Also, have just started back running, albeit using the MAF technique to keep my recurring injuries at bay. Would like to keep some MAF running going in parallel with a bike training plan, if it does not impact it too much.]


I would highly recommend our 32 week plan! Here you would get in the strength and resistance training program. Sounds like you would really benefit from getting in the gym work and gain strength in your legs for the climbing. Then after that you would get the 18 week sweet spot training plan which would build your base. Once you finish that you need to change from base to race and complete our 6 week MTB Marathon training plan. The 6 week MTB Marathon plan needs to finish on teh week of your main event.

See how it all lines up. If you need to take weeks away to fit in the 6 week interval plan, MTB Marathon, I would take weeks from the sweet spot part of the 32 week training plan. You do need at least 12 weeks of sweet spot training before transition to base. But the more you can get in the better!


Hey Tony!

You definitely want the resistance training to help increase your power output on the bike and improve on the climbs. The 32 week off season plan followed by the SS MTB marathon plan would be great, however the 32 week off season plan wouldn’t leave you with time to do those race specific intervals before June 12th.

My suggestion would be to do:
Fall foundations (3 weeks) > 16 week off season plan > hill climbing intervals (6 weeks) and then the SS Marathon MTB Plan (6 weeks).

If you started within the next week or so this approach would give you a week or two for if “life” happens and will give you a 1-2 week taper!

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Ha, looks like we both jumped on this one!

Teamwork makes the dream work.


Thank you! Gives me something to think about. Will opt either way soon.


Hey Lacey, I went with your recommendation. However, on loading the first Fall Plan, it looks very light in comparison to what I have being doing for the past few months. I raised a query on the forum yesterday, but it’s not been responded to yet.
Can you assist please?

I did the 10 weeks of resistance, 18 weeks of SS, and 6 week marathon and it worked out well for the A race this year…the only race this year.


Hi Jake, has anything changed with the plans I’m almost certain I was told in the past that the 32 week plan incorporated the 18 week SS plan? i.e. SS1, SS2 & SS3 ?? or do I have my wires totally crossed here?

The 32 week plan includes the follow:

3 week fall foundation (3 weeks)
10 week resistance training (10 weeks)
Sweet spot 1, 2, and 3 (18 weeks)

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Ok great thanks for confirming, just read your initial post again it sounded like you were suggesting the 18 weeks of SS after the 32 week plan, my bad.

What does this plan include…I’m guessing 10 weeks Resistance+SS1???

Hey Malcolm the resistance training and sweet spot plan is our 10 week strength and resistance plan and then rolls into 6 weeks of our sweet spot 2 plan.

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Hi! I wanted to follow up on the question about the 16 wk “resistance + sweet spot plan” and how to incorporate the MTB marathon plan. I plan to use the 16 resistance + sweet spot plan through the winter and pick up the MTB Marathon plan leading into a target race. I should have at least 6 weeks between the two plans, so I hoped to include a 6 wk plan to fill the gap. Would it be recommended to incorporate sweet spot 2 or 3 between these plans, or do another specific interval plan? My initial thought was to use the sweet spot 2, but from answer above, it appears the 16 wk resistance + sweet spot plan already incorporates sweet spot 2. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Hey @ianhartzel!
the 16 weeks does include SS part 2, so you could follow up that plan with our SS part 3. Then the MTB marathon plan. If you have a good gap between your next A race, you could then do SS part 4.

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Thanks for the advice, @Lacey_Rivette! I’ll see how much time I have between and follow what you suggested.

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